One Camera, One Film, What is Your Choice?

November 17, 2015  •  19 Comments

I was recently talking to a friend and I asked him if you had to pick one camera and one film to create with for the rest of your life, what would your choice be and why?  

The question is a little deeper than it may appear at first glance.  It may not be a practical question, but I think it can reveal some key points about where you may be creatively at this time.  We live in times that a photographer has more choices and options, than any time before in history.  

From my personal perspective, I am not sure the vast amount of choices and options we have today are producing work that is equal to our predecessors over the last 50 years in particular. That is a subjective view based on my personal biases, but it is one that I have formed over time.  I could only hope that my prints today were half of the caliber of the masters like Adams, Penn, Strand, and others.   

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If I had to pick one camera and one film to use for the rest of my days, I would choose a lightweight 4x5 field camera with three lenses (75mm, 180mm, 300mm) and load my film holders with Tri-X.  In regards to why, I think the 4x5 field camera is light enough and portable enough that I could continue to use it anywhere that I wanted, based on my style of photography.  My Chamonix 4x5 camera is about 3 pounds and weighs less than many modern DSLR cameras now.  My 4x5 large format lenses certainly weigh a lot less than most DSLR lenses.  Tri-X has proven to be a very versatile film for me and that utility is something that I value if I had to pick one film.  

I look forward to learn what your choice would be and why.

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Tim Layton
Darkroom & Large Format Photography
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Comments

Gary DeWitt(non-registered)
Easy.
Camera: Ebony SW45 with 90, 150 and 300.
Film: Ilford FP4+
James Gilmore(non-registered)
This would have to be a post-apocalyptic event, right? ; )
As tough as it would be to part ways with various cameras and formats, I'd have to agree with Scott Davis in his choice of a Rolleiflex 2.8. I've always felt burdened by lots of camera gear, and that camera is compacted down to what is simple and basic. I think the unencumbered, non-interchangeable lens commitment makes for a truer photography, at least for me. Oh, and Ilford HP5.
I'd miss my homemade pinholes, though. Maybe I could fashion a pinhole for the Rollei... hmmm, gotta get to work on that!
Daniel(non-registered)
Interesting question and hard for me to answer. It all depends as to where I am in my learning quest. Right now, it would be my wet plate 11x11 camera and film choice would be Old Workhorse collodion mix. 10 years ago my answer would have been the Hassy with Trix. Before that, Leica rangefinder and Trix.
Todd Reed(non-registered)
Today? My Pentax 645 with 45mm, 75mm and 150mm, and Ektar 100 film. Scans great, wide latitude and converts to B&W well.

Future? Crown Graphic 4x5 with ?? film, still working that out! Using Arista EDU to work out system kinks, hope to switch to Ektar or Velvia as end product.
Craig M. Sheaks(non-registered)
Wista SP 4x5 with 65mm, 90mm, 150mm, 180mm, 300mm
Tmax 100
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